Tips and instructions for how to build wood shelf brackets

Updated March 23, 2017

Wood shelf brackets are used to support floating shelves, corner shelves and shelving that carries heavier items. Essentially, shelving brackets offer support so that items can easily be placed on a shelf without causing it to fall down. One of the advantages of making wooden shelf brackets at home is that you can decide the overall size, colour and type of timber used for the shelving brackets.

Choose the proper wood

Sturdy and solid wood will ensure that the wood shelf brackets can hold the content of the shelf. Avoid using thin plywood pieces, as plywood may not be as sturdy as timber. Prepare the timber by cutting out three identical long pieces, about 15 cm (6 inches) in length and a 1.2 cm to 2.5 cm (1/2 inch to 1 inch) in width and depth. Create a triangle with the timber pieces and attach them together, using glue and screws. The larger the triangle, the more weight the shelving bracket can hold.

Drill holes evenly

Drill two holes in the two pieces that constitute the 90-degree angle in the triangle frame. While two of the holes will be used for hanging the shelving bracket on the wall, the other two holes will be used to attach the shelf itself to the bracket to make sure it is secure and sturdy. It is better to make these holes before hanging the shelving bracket on the wall, as it gives you more control.

Install with a level

Use a level when you are installing the shelf brackets on the wall, even if you use the shelf you want to hang as a guide to draw a straight line on the wall. Place the level by the line to ensure it is even, and place the level on the shelving brackets when you are installing them to ensure an even line across.

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About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.